To the Editor:

Did you know that the number of people who die in America due to air pollution is above 50,000? In California, air pollution kills 25,000 people per year. Air pollution is the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particles or biological materials which cause discomfort, leading to health diseases, global warming and climate change. It also produces acid rain, which damages our ecosystems as well as life. Air pollution needs to stop and citizens need to be educated about its huge effects.

Air pollution from China became so vast that it can travel up to the Central Valley of California. Now it’s a great health problem for every living being. It causes different symptoms like watery eyes, coughing, individual heart disease and lung disease. It also damages the lungs of animals and respiratory system of plants by blocking their openings. Eighty percent of lung diseases are caused by air pollution.

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Moreover, air pollution causes global warming and climate change on a great scale.  More than one million species have become extinct due to disappearing habitats, ecosystem acidic oceans all caused by global warming. Greenhouse gases, fuel gases which damage the ozone layer, are the major contributors. Due to global warming and climate change, the quantities of plants and animal have shrunk, rainfall quantities have dropped and droughts are becoming frequent.

In addition, acid rain is a major effect caused by air pollution which harms our environment. In America, 30 percent of acid rain is caused by nitric oxides - half of it comes from motor vehicle exhaust. Harmful chemicals with compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen acids released into the atmosphere cause acid rain. It kills trees and harms animals, fish and other wildlife. Acid rain can destroy the leaves of plants and when acid rain soaks into the ground, it makes the soil an unfit habitat for many living things. Acid rain harms the environment as well as life. It also causes water pollution, which makes many water species rare and even extinct.   

Finally, humans are one of the main causes of air pollution. Many people don't understand what causes air pollution. For example, we all use household items such as hair spray, paint, glue and other items that release chemicals into the air in our homes. People also use many pesticides during farming, which pollutes the air. This lack of knowledge is effecting our environment and our well being. There are many activities that we do to cause air pollution, but there are also many ways that we can prevent it. We must recycle paper, plastic and glass bottles, which conserves energy and reduces production emissions. We can conserve energy by turning off appliances and lights when we leave the room, and by testing our home for radon, a dangerous radioactive gas. By these simple actions and by educating ourselves, we can decrease the amount of air pollution.

I hope that next time if you are doing something that might hurt our environment, you stop and think about the consequences it will have on us later in the future.

Sincerely,

Srishti Sarkar

6th Grade, Hillside Intermediate School